Arctostaphylos edmundsii 'Bert Johnson'
Little Sur Manzanita
Arctostaphylos edmundsii is found near the mouth of the Little Sur River in Monterey County. 'Bert Johnson' is a selection from Tilden Botanic Garden which forms a perfectly flat mat with small gray-green leaves, bronzy new growth, and pink-tinged white flowers. It grows 2 feet high and 6 feet wide, a fine groundcover for coastal gardens. It may be more drought-tolerant than other manzanitas and is great for hillsides. Plant it in well-drained soil in full sun on the coast or in partial shade inland, and give it moderate amounts of water.
Wildlife value: The word manzanita means “little apple”. Birds love to eat the berries. Hummingbirds sip nectar from the blossoms.
Other uses: Manzanita is prized for its many uses. The berries can be eaten raw or cooked and are known to quench thirst (if you happen to find yourself in the wild without a canteen). The berries, leaves, and smooth mahogany-colored wood have all been used as food, medicine, and for tools.